A team from Arizona State University's Center for Policy Informatics including Network member Erik Johnston and Network post-doc Justin Longo is presenting a new research project entitled "Challenges in Revealing the Bright Shadows of the Digitally Invisible," at next week's Policy-Making in the Big Data Era: Opportunities and Challenges at the University of Cambridge. The project focuses on the communities that, to date, have not been included in the wave of efforts to leverage big data to improve governance.
"One important population likely living outside the realm of big data is the homeless. While we have managed to make modern homelessness largely invisible through public policies and personal avoidance (Waldron 1991), big data is compounding those choices by rendering those living at the margins of our societies digitally invisible. Increasingly sensitive and precise policies are biased in favor of the digitally connected, though blind to the digitally invisible (boyd and Crawford 2011). This study is designed to investigate how interventions can begin to lessen and bridge this big data digital divide, while protecting the privacy rights of the digitally invisible, addressing concerns about the surveillance state and engaging participants as partners in the research initiative."